Michael Pearce is a Melbourne based theatre set and costume designer, visual artist and occasional performer, designing for dance, drama and opera companies in Australia and New Zealand, Europe and Asia.
He began his professional career in 1972 as Resident Designer for the State Theatre Company of South Australia under the directorship of George Ogilvie. Later designing for companies such as Australian Dance Theatre, Sydney Dance Company, the Netherlands Dance Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, Dance North, Hong Kong Arts Festival and The New Zealand Ballet. A frequent collaborator with Douglas Wright and The Australian Ballet's resident choreographer Stephen Baynes, Michael is also a recipient of three Green Room Awards for Best Dance design - Edge of Night 1997, Book of Alleged Dances 1999 and Imaginary Masque 2005 - all for The Australian Ballet.
Michael exhibits his pastel and charcoal works on paper in Australia and Asia. He exhibited his Vietnam-inspired Fluid in Melbourne in 2011 and his Unwrapped Hong Kong series in 2013, part of which was shown in Hong Kong in 2009. Lacuna was exhibited in Melbourne in 2015.
Since 1997 Michael has undertaken six extensive cross cultural projects in Vietnam, designing for the Vietnam Opera Ballet Theatre, undertaking two Asialink Residencies, teaching stage design at the Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema, exhibiting and researching an exhibition.
He is a regular guest teacher of design at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne.
In 2007 and 2009 he was Artist in Residence-Design at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and in 2005 Visiting Fellow -Design at The West Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
An original creator and performer with the movement performance trio Chrome, he performed at festivals and events throughout Australia, Europe, Canada and the U.S.A. His most recent performance in 2002 was acting in Lois Ellis’ production of Art & Eros by Iris Murdoch.
‘Dancer Laura Tong in Stephen Baynes’ ‘Night Path’ against Michael Pearce’s stunning stage design’ The Age Newspaper Sept 2 2008 Photo: Jeff Busby (above)